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NOTE - different font: DVD Title TOP - Blu-ray Title BOTTOM

 

(aka "Rosemary's Killer" or "The Graduation")

 

directed by Joseph Zito
USA 1981

 

In 1945, a G.I. returns from the war and receives a "Dear John" letter from his sweetheart. On the night of the Avalon Bay graduation dance, she and her boyfriend are brutally murdered and the dance canceled from then on. 35 years later, the school decides to resurrect the dance so you know there's going to be trouble (especially if you've already seen the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE). After all, Sheriff Fraser (Farley Granger, ROPE) is going off on his fishing trip so the only cop on duty will be Mark (Christopher Goutman) who has his hands full with "final girl"/love interest Pam (Vicky Dawson) and a handful of other would-be co-ed victims that catch his eye. There's also Rosemary's wheelchair-bound father Major Chatham (Lawrence Tierney) who ogles the girls in the dorm from his bedroom window in the creepy house next door. As the dance commences and students separate to find make-out spots, a camouflage-clad killer starts picking them off in post-FRIDAY THE 13TH gory fashion (with effects by Tom Savini). THE PROWLER has its place in the upper tier of slasher films almost solely for its unrated status (although it was heavily cut in some territories) like Tony Maylam's THE BURNING. The period atmosphere of the opening sequence is well-realized but the modern day portion is rather dull. The leads are dull, Tierney is an obvious red herring while Granger has less to do than in some of his Italian genre entries a few years prior. What suspense there is comes comes mostly from Richard Einhorn's orchestral score (Einhorn had previously worked with Savini on Ken Weiderhorn's EYES OF A STRANGER). Tom Savini's brutal gore effects are the reason for seeing this one (they were the main draw when it was impossible to see THE BURNING or FRIDAY THE 13TH without MPAA cuts and they are still the draw now). Director Joseph Zito fared better in the slasher territory with his FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (even though that one was snipped up by the MPAA).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 6 November 1981 (USA)

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Comparison:

Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Blue Underground DVD Screen Caps!

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:06 1:28:16.624
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.79 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,794,604,086 bytes

Feature: 19,746,435,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground

 

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground (Blu-ray)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1946 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1946 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles None English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Joseph Zito and effects artist Tom Savini
• Tom Savini's Behind-The-Scenes Gore Footage (16:9; 9:36)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:48)
• Poster & Still Gallery

DVD Release Date: 30 September 2003
Amaray

Chapters 23

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,794,604,086 bytes

Feature: 19,746,435,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Joseph Zito and effects artist Tom Savini
• Tom Savini's Behind-The-Scenes Gore Footage (16:9; 9:36)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:48)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 27th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Blue Underground - Region FREE Blu-ray - July 2010: It's quite evident from the comparative screen captures that the new Blu-ray is significantly brighter... displaying colors (greens notably) more prominently. As with most Blue Underground releases this looks very true to the source with heavy textured grain and no signs of manipulation. It looks super and gives a great presentation. The brighter image brings out much more detail. With more than 4X the bitrate the 1080P AVC transfer is a significant improvement.

Note: "The Prowler" title font is changed for the new Blu-ray form the 2003 DVD.

Audio advances from the DVD with a new lossless DTS-HD Master 7.1 at 1946 kbps and a Dolby Digital EX 5.1. There is separation in both with HD sound giving some noticeable buoyancy and depth to the extensive screams. They didn't go overboard with the false bump and the subtitles are what is most appreciated. The original DVD 2.0 channel mono is still available as a choice. The DVD didn't offer any subtitle options but the new Blu-ray has three (English SDH, French and Spanish). My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Supplements are duplicated with the commentary, the 10-minute Tom Savini's Behind-The-Scenes Gore Footage piece and the theatrical trailer (neither in HD) but the Blu-ray loses the 'Poster and Stills Gallery'. So be it.

Presently about $8 more but well worth it to fans of the genre. This Blu-ray is far closer to the theatrical appearance in both audio and video. This might actually be one of the better 80's slasher flics. We continue to show confidence in Blue Undergrounds HD transfers - great job!

Gary W. Tooze

***

 

ON THE DVD: One of the earliest Blue Underground DVDs (dating back from 2002 originally before it was reissued under distribution from Ryko in 2003), THE PROWLER was given a single-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer. The image is grainy but that's the original cinematography. The night scenes are clearer than they were on tape and the effects are easier to appreciate. English mono audio is fine. Director Joseph Zito and effects artist Tom Savini provide an audio commentary and a VHS-sourced 10 minute featurette shows how the special make-up effects were accomplished. The theatrical trailer - under THE PROWLER title - is included but unfortunately there are none provided under the alternate ROSEMARY'S KILLER title. The poster & still gallery includes behind the scenes photographs and several black & white ads for the film as well as the color Japanese pressbook but no color posters for the film (which their certainly were).

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
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Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)
 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle sample (Blu-ray)

 

 

Screen Captures

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Blue Underground Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Same but DVD has poster gallery
Menu: Blu-ray

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 




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